In the last week or so we have witnessed many turmoil’s in Middle-Eastern affairs including yet another confrontation in the Gaza strip, a new uprising in Egypt and the continued onslaught of civilians in Syria. However, while the above events have had differing degrees of exposure in the media, an extremely important event- the publication of the IAEA safeguard report on Iran, had passed relatively unnoticed.
This largely-ignored document had expressed much concern about the Iranian nuclear program. Specifically, the document emphasized 5 main points of concern:
- Iran had significantly increased its number of centrifuges since the last IAEA report and had made significant progress in its next generation centrifuge program. Indeed, there is wide concern that Iran may be planing to deploy newly developed centrifuges in a secret facility.
- A nuclear spill occurred in an Iranian uranium conversion facility.
- Iran continued to sanitize the suspected military-aligned nuclear facility in Parchin.
- The IAEA cannot verify whether Iran completely implements NPT safeguards.
- There seems to be little hope for a structured agreement that will resolve the world’s concern about the possible military-aligned nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
Although the issues of Gaza, Egypt and Syria should not be neglected, the issue of Iran’s worrying nuclear program should not be forgotten either. Indeed, both Hamas and Syria are allies of Iran, and much of the happenings in both Gaza and Damascus can be linked in some way or another to the Iranian nuclear program. Furthermore, the possible nuclear armament of Iran could have major destabilizing effects on the region, possibly causing a regional war that would dwarf the amount of casualties seen throughout the Syrian civil war and operation pillar of defense. Moreover, with the alliances made by different states, a regional conflict could easily ignite into a world-wide conflict.
The worrying IAEA report leads no room for doubt- the issue of the Iranian nuclear program should be left in the media’s spotlight as long as there is no agreement settling concerns about its program.